Friday, May 21, 2010

Tomorrow

In the middle of the night, when her sleep was interrupted, Ella awoke to her grandmother's arms lifting her from the bed and leading her downstairs. Her questioning murmurs elicited only sshhhs from her Grammy. But, she could hear her father not being quiet at all.
 
“She's dead? You're lying!” His shouts came from the living room.
 
“Son,” Grammy called out, “Don't trouble the doctor none.”
 
When they reached the room and Grammy sat her on the sofa, Ella looked at her father, who was cradling a bloodied hand as he paced in front of the fireplace, the hearth covered by shards of the green Depression glassware her mother once collected.
 
“Mama is resting in heaven,” she whispered, and was surprised when he stopped.
 
“And I am going to hell,” he said, with a look to the doctor.
 
He left the room, taking a bottle of whiskey with him.
 
While Grammy accompanied the doctor to the front hall, their voices low and their sentences too adult for Ella to decipher, she stood and walked to the window.
 
“There are no stars up there,” she said. “How can I make a wish tonight?”
 
Grammy returned and stared at her grandchild, her eyes wearied by age and fear and tears.
 
“You don't really need them for that, honey,” she said.
 
Ella shook her head. She knew her grandmother wanted her father to be sent away to the special hospital. Too many times now he did not remember that mama had been dead for months. Skull fracture from accidental fall, according to the coroner's report.
 
She could not forget because she saw her die.
 
That's why Grammy woke her, then. To say goodbye to Daddy.
 
Ella wiped her tears and walked to her grandmother.
 
“Maybe I'll see them tomorrow,” she said.
 
“Yes, child.” Grammy kissed the top of her head. “There's always tomorrow.”
 
However, no matter how many she wished upon, the stars would not alter the truth that it was Ella who had pushed her mother to her death.

40 comments:

  1. Ooh, this is a chilling one. Excellent story!

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  2. Yes I agree - chilling!!!
    Gripping story - well done :)

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  3. Yowsers! Wasn't expecting that!
    Loved the Grammy character

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  4. I really like the voice. It gives the end that much more impact.

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  5. Cracking story, I love it! The wonderfully chilling last sentence seals the deal for me. Bravo!

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  6. Oh no! Yipes. And now I would like to know more, please!

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  7. Didn't see that twist at the end coming. Like father like daughter?

    The voice lulls you into this. Marvellous stuff

    marc nash

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  8. Ooh. Yikes. This is almost electric. Nicely done.

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  9. madness madness everywhere.
    didn't see that coming.
    not even a little bit.
    sneaky and chilling.
    *shudder*

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  10. Just splendid! So full of emotion. I love it.

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  11. Evil camouflaged by innocence. Well played.

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  12. Chilling ending! And begs the unanswered question of how 'accidental' was it?

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  13. What a twist!
    Very good.

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  14. Grammy was wonderful... the twist a complete surprise.

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  15. That's it. Angie is the queen of cliffhangers and you're the queen of twisting ends, heh. :P

    Great piece Mari-girl, gave me the chills, literally!

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  16. So many assumptions as I read this, and they all came crashing down when I read the last sentence. Very chilling indeed.
    ~jon

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  17. Whoa!!!! Wasn't expecting that at all! There were quite a few 'whoa' moments in there. Well done. I look forward to reading your stories every week.

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  18. Wow, punch in the gut! Great story. Loved the voices here. And that twist-- you totally got me. Wasn't expecting that at all.

    Excellent, hair-raising story.

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  19. ok, you got me with that ending!!

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  20. Oooh the old bait and switch. My thought process was as follows: Poor girl, poor little thing, her mummy's dead, her father's mad, she saw her die, poor poor, holy fuck! She's a little murdering bitch, I bet the grandma's next.

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  21. Chilling! Nice, convincing telling right up until the twist at the end!

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  22. This is different for you. I wonder if daddy is nuts because he knows...

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  23. Yikes! Creepy one this time!

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  24. Oh my, so simply told and so gripping. Your characters have captivated me once again.

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  25. They're pretty good to Ella, given that she's a murderer. Guess it was more of an accident than a 'Joshua'-type killing, but still. She'd better wish to the stars for forgiveness.

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  26. Nasty twist. It certainly made the goose bumps race up my nose, over my skull, and midway down my back.

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  27. Fun. Nearly caught me off guard.

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  28. Nice little twist at the end! A well told story and a nice punch at the end. A great bit of storytelling in a short span. :)

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  29. What a twist, indeed. Kudos! Great tale...

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  30. Oh, creepy, creepy, creeeeeepy.

    I love it.

    That's an opening to a book, you know.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  31. Oh my God. That ending took my breath away.

    Just well done, just well done.

    I was once told that short-shorts, flash fiction, should grab the reader by the throat - and not let go.

    This did and didn't - in spades.

    I shall now go don a hat that I might doff it to you.

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  32. What a grim turn at the end. Nicely done.

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  33. Poor Ella! Of course, being a kid, she'd blame herself even if it wasn't her fault.

    Chilling. There was something about the first sentence that threw me off. The "when her sleep was interrupted" made me think it was going to be a general sort of situation, so it took me a moment to orient.

    Other than that, well done!

    CD

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  34. From beginning to end - eerie!

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  35. Wow, this was wonderful and kept me engaged and I couldn't stop reading. Great work!

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